January 21, 2021
The NWT’s Economic Development Practitioners got together Wednesday to discuss the state of the NWT economy, different programs available to businesses and entrepreneurs operating in the territory, and how they can be used to help the territory recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The term economic practitioner is used to describe the many individuals who deliver federal and GNWT government programs and services in support of the NWT’s business community. In addition to GNWT and federal employees, they include those who work for Community Futures Organizations and the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC).
Wednesday’s virtual meeting replaced the bi-annual conference commonly co-hosted by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), the NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation, and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor). Over 60 individuals registered for the full-day event.
Representatives from the GNWT and CanNor delivered presentations on the state of the NWT economy, and the initiatives that are underway to diversify and grow its offerings. Presenters highlighted developments in budding sectors such as the knowledge economy and cannabis.
Assistant Deputy Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Tracy St-Denis opened the online event thanking practitioners for their diligent work and reflecting on lessons-learned from the COVID-influenced past year.
“2021 is really an opportunity to apply some of what we have learned,” she said.
“We have partnerships that have always been in place, but COVID really spotlighted their importance. We have an opportunity to take pause and look at what we were able to accomplish together. COVID has emphasized the “art of the possible” when it comes to working together.”
“We’re fortunate not only to have the resources to develop programs, but to be able to have people at the regional level actually deliver those programs. It is critical to have you (economic practitioners) in the trenches working 1 on 1 with our businesses to help them - this past year especially”.
In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, ITI contributed $18 million in grants and contributions though varying organizations and personnel in support of more than 535 businesses, economic initiatives and ideas.
ITI is committed to building a diversified, sustainable economy in the Northwest Territories - beginning at the community level. The Department’s regional delivery model reflects its objective to ensure support and assistance is available in every community in the NWT.